Things in life that have never ceased to amaze are surprises, be it on one’s birthday, honeymoon or date because the packaging tells it all. Now just imagine the other opportunity of re-uniting with your closest relatives with whom you never thought exist in this diverse universe; the rare mountain gorillas in Uganda, “the pearl of Africa”. Everything on this trip is magical, right from the number of days spent, destinations to be visited, tour guide to handle your trip, accommodation and transportation among others. Mountain gorillas can’t be found anywhere else in the world but only in the continent of Africa; in the countries sharing the majestic Virunga chain of mountains towering above Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is home to over 1000 endangered mountain gorilla species and several other unique primates, reptiles, birds and mammals among others, who enjoy the favorable climate, and plenty of floral species.
We take you through some of the things you need to know about gorillas and the Gorilla trekking exercise, why you have to start your Journey from Entebbe, and the most ideal time to have the escapade in Uganda; home to half of the world’s surviving mountain gorilla species in the world. hundreds of tourists from across the world come for the activity and return very satisfied with smiles written all over their faces. Uganda is a tiny landlocked country located in East Africa, and one of the only thirteen countries in the world crossed by the Equator. she is gifted by nature, plenty of wildlife In her unspoiled rampsar sites, national parks, and game reserves among others such as; Africa’s big5 namely lions, Rhinoceros, buffalos, leopards, and elephants, besides the giraffes, and different antelope species; Birds such as the crested cranes, shoebill stock and ostrich; the fascinating landscape; cultures such as the Batwa pygmies (one of the shortest people in the world); lakes and rivers among others.
The three days’ gorilla tour, takes you to one of Uganda’s smallest national park found in the far south west …
She (the pearl of Africa) is bordered by Kenya to the east, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, and South Sudan to the north, yet in the heart of Great lakes region; surrounded by water bodies such as Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Edward. The rains are fairly distributed all over the country with two seasons which favor her ecosystem and the existence of wildlife all over the year. The Wet season runs from March to May and October to November, whereas the dry season from June to August and December to February. The climate experienced is tropical. It is home to the source of the longest river on earth; river Nile, the second-highest mountain in Africa; the snowcapped mountain Rwenzori; the true wilderness of Africa; kidepo valley national park; the most powerful waterfalls on earth, Murchison falls; the primate world; Kibale forest national park; the third-longest lake on earth, lake Victoria and the birder's haven of Mabamba swamp among others. Several languages are spoken across the country though most used are Luganda, English, and Kiswahili.
The experience one gets doesn't primarily depend on only the wildlife alone but also the cool climate, security, cultural diversity, cuisine, and the fascinating landscape all over the country. Tourists can now have their wish of encountering the endangered mountain gorillas come true, as well as mixing it with possibly game viewing, birding, honeymoon, and beach experience. Every step and point in a Ugandan Gorilla trekking safari matters and leads to unending memory, and the eyes are fade from point one to the last. The trip can be luxury, group, solo, or even budget, but the attractions and surprises are never limited. Starting your Uganda Gorilla trekking safari experience from Entebbe is not only the best gift and bonus to your quest for the gorillas, but also an opportunity of discovering most of the hidden treasures in the country, enjoying the stunning landscape, utilizing your money to the fullest, and giving you the chance of knowing the country's main capital city (Kampala city).
Entebbe is situated in wakiso district, approximately 37kilometers south of Kampala (the capital city of Uganda) and along the shores of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest freshwater lake). It is where the country's international Airport; Entebbe international airport is where you will land from your country, as well as the official office and residence of the countries president. On arrival at Entebbe international airport, the stunning landscape, happy people, and green vegetation welcome you to your dream destination for a lifetime activity; mountain gorilla trekking. It is where the fun and adventure starts before hitting the road for a 6-8hour drive to the southwestern part of the country where all the Gorilla trekking destinations are.
Gorilla Safaris from Kampala
From Entebbe to Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park; proud homes of the endangered mountain gorillas; You can choose to fly; spending about 1-2 hours, while enjoying an aerial view of the fascinating landscape of Uganda, or have a drive which exposes you to the beautiful landscape in the countryside, magnificent undulating hills, the natives of the country as well as the scattered traditional homesteads. The drive route to the national parks also enables you to watch the magical demonstration and prove of the Equator line which crosses the country, as well as has a quality photographic moment. Marvel at the magnificent green vegetations, the great backdrops of mountains towering above the western region and great infrastructure as you approach a unique part of the world; a paradise with the sought after mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are a subgroup of the eastern gorillas living in the great Virunga mountains. They are known to be human’s closest relatives with about 95% human DNA, next to the chimpanzees. They leave in groups known as troops and led by a dominant Silverback, whose role is to settle disputes, provide security, lead the group to the next destination, and construct nests. The other members in the family include two younger silverbacks who help the dominant silverback; the black back whose work is to guard the territory; and the female who nurse their young ones. Gorillas are very social creatures, very shy and gentle, and roam the forest on daily basis to search for what to eat; mainly bamboo, roots, fruits, and leaves among others all over their territory, thus the reason why you will have to trek to reunite with them.
They are harmless, though react in situations when they feel attacked by either humans or another gorilla family. Some of the reactions include running on four legs, hooting, tearing leaves, figurative feeding, thumbing the ground with their palms, and hitting their chests among others. In such a situation, you are urged to stand your ground and not panic, look down, don't shout, and allow defeat because you are the stranger in their territory. However, Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a lifetime activity that never fades off one's brain and can be done as a separate adventure, or a mixture with a wildlife safari, honeymoon camping safari, family vacation, beach holiday, a group holiday or photo safari, for as many days as possible.
Probably a 3day safari can be ideal for those with fixed schedules. Those aged 15 and above, with a valid trekking permit globally, are free to explore the Jungle and mountain slopes in a mission of reuniting with their lost relatives in the 1-8hours of tracking through the guidance of an expert park ranger who whose eyes are known by the corners, unique tree species, stunning landscape, and other creatures such as the mammals, birds, and reptiles among others. One hour with the gentle Apes, your favorite family deep in the Jungle governed by strange sounds, cool breath and stolen strikes of sunlight in any of the Two residents of Gorillas in Uganda is enough to put a new story in your heart, new photos in your camera or phone, new sound to your ears and unique understanding of life and the ecosystem. Nothing can ever be so charming life the posse made by the gentle silverback, the strength and captivating brown eyes, and their unique gentle behavior.
Gorilla Trekking Destinations in Uganda. Uganda is a host to half of the world's endangered mountain Gorillas offered in the following destinations and open for a maximum of eight people per day. Located in the slopes of Virunga chain of mountains, the southwestern part of Uganda, right at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo is Mgahinga Gorilla national park, the tiniest national park in Uganda yet with a wide range of biodiversity, cool climate, rolling landscape, and plenty of flora and Fauna. It was established in 1991, to conserve nature and the rare primate species, such as the golden monkeys, gorillas and baboons, as well as birds and mammals. Ever since commencement, it harbors only one Gorilla family, the Nyakagezi family, the most exciting and easily tracked family to track in Uganda.
Nyakagezi gorilla group resides in the three slopes of Virunga volcanoes namely Gahinga, sabinyo, and Muhabura. The family is composed of 9 individuals, divided as 2 adult females, 4 silverbacks, 2 infants, and one infant. Yet because of the small size, you have the privilege of knowing their names before the trekking activity namely; Bugingo believed to have lived for over 54 years and know the leader of the group, Nshuti, Mutagamba, baby Rukundo, mark, Nvuyekure, and Matthew. Tracking the Nyakagezi gorilla group requires no expert skills but rather a love for adventure and determination. It commences at 8:30 am with a pre trekking briefing by the park rangers, and then lasts for about 1-4 hours, through the bushes, hills, and valleys to the point where you will find the creatures relaxing, eating or even playing.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is 0ne of the finest tourist destinations in the world with the highest concentration of mountain Gorillas in the wild; We call it a jungle because that is what it is, and only proven after getting deep into the paradise with nothing besides you but the echoes emanating and covering the atmosphere; a dense network of shrubs and vines, green vegetation; the peeping sun rays and charming eyes of the gentle giants; mountain gorillas. It is believed that mountain gorillas in this park are a bit different from the rest, very exciting to watch and so playful. The park is divided into four sectors with different gorilla families, having unique characteristics and open for trackers all year round.
The sectors and families include; Buhoma sector; the most visited and the oldest in the area and home to the Habinyanja group, Katwe group, mubare group and Rushegura group among others; Nkuringo sector with Nkuringo group, Bushaho group, kapisho and Christmas among others; Ruhija sector with Oruzogo group, Kyaguliro group, Bitukuru, and Mukiza group among others; and Nshongi group with Musinguzi, Mishaya, Kahungye, and Busingye among others. Each family is open for only 8 people per day in the different sectors and tracking starting as early as 8:30 am, with participants getting registered and briefed, and documents verified before entering the park for an activity that can last for approximately 1-8hours depending on the direction the creatures have taken and your pace.
Gorilla Safaris from Entebbe
To promote the conservation and existence of the apes, some rules have been put in place for all trackers to follow and failure to do so attracts penalties. The Rules include; no littering the environment; stand 7 meters from the gorillas, no smoking, no staring straight into the eyes of the apes, avoid making noise; no tracking in case you have fever or cough, and above all, only 8 people are allowed to track the gorillas per day. Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permits in Uganda.
In both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, the permits go at 700 USD as per the 2020/2021 Uganda wildlife authority tariffs, and the money is channeled to conservation efforts, payment of the park rangers; helping the neighboring communities and treating the gorillas in case of any border harm or disease outbreak.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done all year round. However, for the sake of comfort, and freedom, it is important to choose months with fewer rains, and several other issues that can affect the adventure, and for that reason; the dry season (June to October and December - February) is probably the most ideal time for a gorilla trekking safari. The reason for this choice is that when there is less or no rains, trekking becomes easier since there are no risks of slippery grounds or abrupt rains that can interfere with the activities. Secondly, the primate can be easily seen and they tend to be so lively since the jungle is clear and they are not wet.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is fun and so rewarding, thus the need for getting equipped with all the necessary items as we recommend and those that your trip organizer tells you before seeing the face of the jungle. You need strong hiking shoes for trekking, long socks to protect your legs; camera for photography; long-sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect your legs and the whole body, medical insurance for protection against any unforeseen situation in the jungle, binoculars to see distant species, garden gloves to protect your fingers, visa and passport, a hut to protect your head and many more as the tour operator will tell you.
Yes; in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, accommodations range from budget to luxury lodges, camps, and home stays, with all the facilities that will make your stay as interesting and comfortable as you ever wish. Some of the notable spots include; Buhoma community Rest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Mount Gahinga Lodge and Golden Monkey Guest House among others. Uganda gorilla trekking from Entebbe is a onetime adventure that leads to a total transformation from a theoretical person to a practical storyteller of how wonderful and amazing the wild can be. Gorilla trekking is one of the prime activities in Uganda, and it all goes without saying appreciating its uniqueness.
The unique part of every safari that starts from Entebbe is the quality of experience you get before proceeding with the trip, such as simple excursion around the exotic destinations, visiting the fascinating beaches and the amazing accommodations in the area.
With the guidance of your safari guide, can visit any of the following destinations and engage in exciting activities; Uganda wildlife education center (the national zoo) to identify some of the wildlife species the country has; The Reptile village to watch some of the reptile species such as the tortoise, lizards, cobras chameleon, and pythons; the Ngamba island to watch the orphaned chimps in their cage; the historical site of Kungugu(a spot were father Lourdel and brother Amans laid the foundation of the catholic faith); Kampala city tour and the national botanical gardens. Golf lovers can also have a glance at the stunning Entebbe golf course, before or after the trekking excise.